Shipston-on-Stour is a town and civil parish on the River Stour about south of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. It is in the northern part of the Cotswolds, close to the boundaries with Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
In the 8th century the Toponym was Scepwaeisctune, Old English for Sheep-wash-Town, as it was once an important sheep market. The name evolved through Scepwestun in the 11th century, Sipestone, Sepwestun and Schipton in the 13th century and Sepestonon-Sture in the 14th century.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Edmund has a 15th century tower. The Gothic Revival architect G.E. Street rebuilt the rest of the church in 1855. The tower had a ring of five bells until 1695 when they were recast and rehung as a ring of six. Since then all the bells have been recast and rehung from time to time, notably in 1754 and by John Taylor & Co. in 1979.
Shipston is on the A3400 road (formerly the A34) between Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford and was once an important staging place for stagecoaches. Many former coaching inns, such as the Coach and Horses, remain in the area of the High Street.
Following a fall in the demand for local wool, the local economy was in part sustained by the opening in 1836 of a branch line running from the horse-drawn Stratford and Moreton Tramway, built ten years before and linking Moreton-in-Marsh with Stratford. In 1889 the line was upgraded to allow the operation of steam trains from Moreton to Shipston. Passenger services to the town were withdrawn in 1929 and the line closed completely in 1960.
Shipston was in an exclave of Worcestershire, in which it was part of the Oswaldslow Hundred. In 1931 it was transferred to Warwickshire. Until the 1974 local government reorganisation it was the seat of the Shipston-on-Stour Rural District.
Notable people born in Shipston include the actor Richard Morant and the 19th century archaeologist Francis Haverfield. The town was commemorated by Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees in the song Cold be my Days on his 1970 solo album Sing Slowly Sisters. To wit "Cold be my days in Shipston-on-Stour". He stated in a BBC Radio 4 interview in May 2007 that this relates to his youthful experiences, riding horses with his brother Barry.
Shipston Town Band is based in the town.